I have tried to watch myself as I fall asleep, to be aware of my slipping consciousness. (Is it like watching in reverse the developing consciousness from embryo to adult?) It is a difficult undertaking. Who has been able to mark off the point where consciousness ends while in the process of losing it? Once it is gone, so too has gone the ability to be aware that it is gone. I can, however, try to recall my last thoughts before lapsing into unconsciousness each night as I fall asleep, to find as close I can the moment before I crossed that boundary into unconsciousness. To a person such as myself for whom the experience of awareness holds a deep mystery, this is an interesting exercise. Now to add some perspective, if Nicholas Humphrey is right, were it not for evolutionary pressures toward increased ability for mind-reading and manipulation (via animal signals as ethologists like Dawkins would point out), I would not be able to consciously observe my own mind as it changes states of awareness at all.
Aristotle said: "We educate ourselves so that we can make a noble use of our leisure." The idea that education is for the mind and soul, for the whole person – the citizen, the parent, the voter, the reader, the lover, the traveller, the human being in the round – is lost to view in trying to make university education a mere continuation of school for the same sausage-machine purpose of churning out employees. - AC Grayling